The Album Review Club - Week #37 (page 425) - Rusalka

mancity2012_eamo

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Had him on in the background. Thought the opening song showed great promise, but found my mind wandering pretty soon into the album.
There were a few songs pulled my attention back though and I will give it all my focus next time around.
 

RobMCFC

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A Century Ends – David Gray

This is my first listen to David Gray. I played “Babylon” yesterday and as expected, I did recognise that track, but I’ve never sat down and listened to his music before.

First impressions are that it’s a sound that I like – the strummed acoustic backed by a competent band. There are some nice chord changes in the title track and “It’s All Over”. “Wisdom” is a great track – impassioned delivery and guitar playing with some nice organ backing. “Living Room” features nice use of the mandolin – I do love that strumming sound.

There were a few tracks that sounded bland and didn’t do anything for me (“Shine”, “Gathering Dust”, “Birds Without Wings”)

Overall, I like that the acoustic guitar is captured well in the mix and David Gray, despite his odd accent (born in Manchester, moved to Wales when he was 9 yet sings with a Scottish accent!), he gives a good vocal performance throughout.

But I think that I like the sound of the album more than the songs themselves. If somebody like Josh Ritter, Jason Isbell or Steve Earle was singing these songs, I think I’d feel more invested. Maybe that’s the issue, maybe songs by those artists would resonate more because I think there’s only “Wisdom” and “Living Room” that I’d go back to and the latter only because of the mandolin. There’s a few that, to quote Courtney Barnett, are pedestrian at best but I like the sound enough to give him a 6.

Thanks to @BlueHammer85 for introducing me to a new artist.
 

KnaresboroughBlue

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It reminded of someone but for the life of me I can't think who.

Overall I found it to be very pleasant listening. I liked it quite a lot. No bad tracks at all but then again nothing that stood out too much. Debauchery was probably my favourite.

It's an album that I am likely to return to from time to time. No songs there I liked that much that I would add to a playlist or listen to individually but somehow more effective when listened to as a complete album.

Good choice and an 8 from me.
 
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BlueHammer85

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A Century Ends – David Gray

This is my first listen to David Gray. I played “Babylon” yesterday and as expected, I did recognise that track, but I’ve never sat down and listened to his music before.

First impressions are that it’s a sound that I like – the strummed acoustic backed by a competent band. There are some nice chord changes in the title track and “It’s All Over”. “Wisdom” is a great track – impassioned delivery and guitar playing with some nice organ backing. “Living Room” features nice use of the mandolin – I do love that strumming sound.

There were a few tracks that sounded bland and didn’t do anything for me (“Shine”, “Gathering Dust”, “Birds Without Wings”)

Overall, I like that the acoustic guitar is captured well in the mix and David Gray, despite his odd accent (born in Manchester, moved to Wales when he was 9 yet sings with a Scottish accent!), he gives a good vocal performance throughout.

But I think that I like the sound of the album more than the songs themselves. If somebody like Josh Ritter, Jason Isbell or Steve Earle was singing these songs, I think I’d feel more invested. Maybe that’s the issue, maybe songs by those artists would resonate more because I think there’s only “Wisdom” and “Living Room” that I’d go back to and the latter only because of the mandolin. There’s a few that, to quote Courtney Barnett, are pedestrian at best but I like the sound enough to give him a 6.

Thanks to @BlueHammer85 for introducing me to a new artist.

Nice write up Rob

Really surprised you've never heard of David Gray before - White Ladder was absolutely huge

White Ladder spent almost three full years in the UK top 100, consistently charting between May 2000 and March 2003. Its total charting time as of 2020 is 176 weeks, making it one of the longest-charting albums in UK chart history. It was massively successful in Ireland, where it spent six consecutive weeks at number one on the Irish Albums Chart and had sold 350,000 copies by 2002. In 2015 it was still the biggest-selling album of all time in that country. White Ladder was the fifth-best-selling album of the 2000s in the UK, selling 2.9 million copies. White Ladder has sold over 3 million copies in the UK, making it the eleventh-best-selling album of the 21st century in the UK and the 28th-best-selling album of all time in the UK. The album has sold over 7 million copies worldwide.

even though I'm not actually a big fan on White Ladder nowadays, me and Mrs Bluehammer have got tickets at the 02 for his 20th anniversary of this Album this year


Only thing I disagree with is your review is your picks for bland, I think “Shine”, “Gathering Dust”, “Birds Without Wings” are some of his best on here, i'd say '"A Century Ends', 'Lead Me Upstairs' and 'It's All Over' were the weakest/bland ones.

Glad you picked out 'Living Room' though - one of my favourites for sure.



 

RobMCFC

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Nice write up Rob

Really surprised you've never heard of David Gray before - White Ladder was absolutely huge

White Ladder spent almost three full years in the UK top 100, consistently charting between May 2000 and March 2003. Its total charting time as of 2020 is 176 weeks, making it one of the longest-charting albums in UK chart history. It was massively successful in Ireland, where it spent six consecutive weeks at number one on the Irish Albums Chart and had sold 350,000 copies by 2002. In 2015 it was still the biggest-selling album of all time in that country. White Ladder was the fifth-best-selling album of the 2000s in the UK, selling 2.9 million copies. White Ladder has sold over 3 million copies in the UK, making it the eleventh-best-selling album of the 21st century in the UK and the 28th-best-selling album of all time in the UK. The album has sold over 7 million copies worldwide.

even though I'm not actually a big fan on White Ladder nowadays, me and Mrs Bluehammer have got tickets at the 02 for his 20th anniversary of this Album this year


Only thing I disagree with is your review is your picks for bland, I think “Shine”, “Gathering Dust”, “Birds Without Wings” are some of his best on here, i'd say '"A Century Ends', 'Lead Me Upstairs' and 'It's All Over' were the weakest/bland ones.

Glad you picked out 'Living Room' though - one of my favourites for sure.




Obviously, I have heard of him, just never listened to his music.

I really can't put my finger on why it doesn't connect. Like I said, I enjoyed the sound of the album more than the songs themselves (if that makes sense).
 

mancity2012_eamo

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Obviously, I have heard of him, just never listened to his music.

I really can't put my finger on why it doesn't connect. Like I said, I enjoyed the sound of the album more than the songs themselves (if that makes sense).
I kind of get it, but I will say I enjoyed it second time around a lot better. Even some of the ones you found bland.
I thought Shine was an excellent start.
The missus didn’t seem to mind it either so it will definitely be played all week.
 

BimboBob

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I've had a listen again.

Why does he sing in that voice? It's like he's trying to be all Celtic and mysterious. Comes across as a bit too gravely. Then I read that he was born in England but then moved to Wales. Where does the Scottish accent come from?

That being said, I quite like some of the songs. A Century Ends and Shine are both are very nice to listen to. And then the album merges into one song after another that sound very similar briefly broken up by a Wonderstuff tribute act before going back to the similar songs. I much prefer this David Gray to the Babylon version though.

Would I listen again? Probably not. I definitely won't be adding it to my record collection but at least it's better than that utter twat Sheeran who needs a baseball bat taking to him.

Scores on the doors.

5/10

Not really my type of music, a bit samey and bland in places, but overall ok.
 

bennyboy

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Never liked him at his White Ladder peak so this was going to be a hard listen.
Sadly it was.
All of the intros were spoiled when his voice started singing.Really annoyed me for some reason.lol
Thought he was Irish until I read he was from Sale.
Might have liked the album a whole lot better if somebody else was on vocals.
3 out of ten and that's me being generous to a rag.
 

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